UPR: Report of LtCol William H. A. Speer, 28th North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations July 28, 1864

   

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in Unpublished Reports Volume XL

Editor’s Note: Brett Schulte recently noticed this report transcribed online among the James H. Lane Papers at the Auburn University Archives web site.  Permission was asked for and granted by Auburn University Libraries, Department of Special Collections & University Archives to reproduce these transcriptions here at The Siege of Petersburg Online.  These transcriptions are copyrighted by Auburn University Libraries, Department of Special Collections & University Archives and may not be reproduced without their express written consent.  The transcription attribution reads as follows: “Transcriptions made by Terri Stout-Stevens, Pfafftown, NC, in 1997 and 1998.  Edited by Marty Olliff, Assistant Archivist, Auburn University, who takes all responsibility for any errors.”

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Unpublished Report of LtCol William H. A. Speer, 28th North Carolina, Lane’s Brigade, of operations July 28, 18641

Camp 28th NCT
July 31st 1864

Capt. E.J. Hale Jr
A.A.G.

I beg leave to make the following report of the part taken by my Regt in the engagement of the 28th inst. My Regt was formed in line of battle with my left on 37th N.C.T. my right on the 33rd NC.T. [I]n that manner my Regt moved forward with the Brig. [I]n moving forward my Reg. came in contact with the enemy in a very thick swamp but drove them out into a cornfield[. I]n getting through the swamp the Reg’t was broken up in formation to some extent, but reformed to some degree after getting into the corn field[. M]y men pressed the enemy Through the cornfield under a heavy fire, the right of my Regt passing along a fence running to the South East. My right flank was fired into before I crossed the swamp. [A]fter getting into the cornfield and passing through it into an open untended field my Regt was exposed very heavily to a flank fire for over one fourth of a mile[. H]aving driven the enemy to the top of a hill at the far side of the field my men came suddenly on a heavy force of the enemy & was driven back to a fence when I suceeded in rallying a portion of my men with others of the Brig but was unable to hold this position long[. M]y orders were to be governed by the moves on the left and having no support now on my left flank and being flanked Thus by the enemy and being still exposed to the severe flank fire above mentioned, I ordered my men to fall back to a ridge to the rear where the Regt was reformed[. E]very thing was done by myself and officers to keep the men at their post. I never saw the men fight with more spirit and gallantry in my life. The Officers did their part nobly, and if properly supported, and not suffered to be flanked, there would have been no falling back. I lost two officers missing one (1) man killed fourteen (14) wounded, and twenty three (23) missing.

Very Respectfully your Obedient servant

W[illiam]. H. A. Speer Lt Col
Comd’g

Source:

  1. Speer, William H. A. (1864, July 31). (Official Report sent to E. J. Hale, Jr.). James H. Lane Papers (RG 501, Box 2, number 74). Auburn University Libraries Department of Special Collections & University Archives, Auburn, AL.

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